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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

138-YEAR-OLD SCHWER CHURCH GUTTED BY FIRE

Plans to rebuild already in motion

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church at Schwer was destroyed by fire Monday afternoon. No injury was involved. A cause hasn't been determined. Firemen were able to save the parish hall, which did sustain smoke and water damage.

Church officials made it clear they will rebuild.

The church was built in 1875.

One of the church's trustees, Bob Buhr, told WGFA News a few parishioners noticed the fire in the bell tower as they left the church just after 12:30 pm, following a funeral service.

Milford Fire Chief Frank Hines reported at least 150,000 gallons of water was used battling the flames, which kept firemen from nine departments at the scene until 8 pm.

Hines said the parish hall, built in 2008, was spared.

Firemen found the church steeple fully engulfed in flames and smoke, showing from the roof.

A mutual aid box alarm alerted several departments, bringing equipment, manpower and tankers to the scene at 1812 E and 1130 N Roads.

Hines said the parishioners heard a "popping noise;" a junction box was located at the bottom of the steeple.

Iroquois County's 9-1-1 center received multiple calls, advised by callers the church steeple was fully-involved.

Hines reported mutual aid included equipment and manpower from Woodland, Wellington, Stockland, Cissna Park, Crescent City, Sheldon, Watseka and Hoopeston. IMH Ambulance was at the scene. The Mowrey Auction Compnay also provide water supplies with tanker trucks.

Church trustee, Buhr, said the sanctuary measured about 40 by 60 feet. A church annex was about 30 by 30 feet and another entrance-way measured approximately 30 by 30 too.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Schwer Church Fire alerts area departments

IROQUOIS COUNTY -- Several area fire departments are on the scene of a church fire in Schwer. No injury was reported, but there is substantial damage done to St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church at 1130 N and 1812 E Road, northwest of Milford.

The fire started in the bell tower of the church. The cause is unknown. One of the church's trustees, Bob Buhr, tells WGFA News a few parishioners noticed the fire as they were leaving the church around 12:30 pm after a funeral. Buhr said much of the main church was damaged along with the church annex. Firemen were busy trying to save the parish hall.

Firemen from Milford, Cissna Park, Stockland, Wellington, Woodland, Sheldon, Watseka and Hoopeston were on the scene, according to Milford Fireman Fred Hines.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Cloonen Visits Bunge as Part of Manufacturing Month

KANKAKEE, IL – On Tuesday, state Representative Kate Cloonen visited Bunge Oils of Bradley as a part of her continuing series of business visits to promote Illinois' Manufacturing Month. The visit was organized by The Kankakee County Economic Alliance.

"Our district has a number of worldwide companies such as Bunge Oils, and it is important that I meet with these companies to discuss ways to make Illinois more business friendly, enabling our companies to flourish and create jobs," Cloonen said. "I would like to thank Bunge for their time and the Economic Alliance for their active work in our community. I look forward to this partnership with the Economic Alliance and Illinois manufacturers as we work together to promote job growth in the 79th District."

  • Parent Category: News

------------ ALERT: SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGS AND WATCHES -------------

.FIRST WIDESPREAD FREEZE IS POSSIBLE TONIGHT.

.MUCH COLDER AIR MOVES IN TODAY & TONIGHT BEHIND A COLD FRONT. CLOUDS ARE EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY DISSIPATE THIS EVENING ALLOWING TEMPS TO FALL TO OR BELOW FREEZING BEFORE CLOUDS RETURN AROUND SUNRISE.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Rita Garman to take chief justice post this week

Outgoing Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride is being remembered for his push to bring cameras into courtrooms and lobbying for a pilot project to allow electronic filing of documents.

Kilbride's three-year term expires this week. He'll be replaced by Justice Rita Garman and resume his associate justice post.

The Democrat was first elected to the high court in 2000. He practiced law for two decades in Rock Island.
Even with his push to modernize the courts, he told the Quad Cities-Times ( http://bit.ly/1i6Rp4P) for a story published Sunday that some things haven't changed since the days of Abraham Lincoln.

Kilbride started the cameras pilot project a year ago. It opens trial courtrooms to news photographers and electronic news media to cover cases. More than two dozen counties have participated.
___
Information from: The Dispatch, http://www.qconline.com